Moving Immunotherapy Forward with Next-Generation Approaches

Deputy Director and Executive Director, Center for Immunotherapy
Thursday, July 13, 2017 - 2:41pm

This is part I of a series of posts about new complex immunotherapy trials available at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

With so many exciting advances in immunotherapy in the news lately, I wanted to share a few thoughts about the new directions you can expect from the Roswell Park Center for Immunotherapy, and why these unique approaches give me great hope.

We’re at a critical juncture now where we’re applying the knowledge of the past three decades and building on what we’ve learned from the dramatic successes of the last few years.

We’re initiating a series of new trials involving complex immunotherapies, or what I like to call next-generation immunotherapies, including checkpoint inhibitors, chimeric antigen receptor t-cell (CAR T) therapies and novel therapeutic vaccines. We’re layering different concepts and technologies together to maximize the attack on tumor cells and create the most significant and long-term benefits for patients.

We're pushing the envelope using all of the knowledge that we have gained over the years about how the immune system interacts with cancer. We have new immunotherapy studies available now or opening in the coming months that incorporate elements of genomics and personalized medicine, epigenetics, adoptive cell therapy and stem cell therapy.

The most striking thing is our deep understanding of the immune system because of an incredible explosion in knowledge and technology. We are now able to manipulate the immune system to be more effective in attacking cancer cells.

We’re very excited about bringing this new series of clinical trials to our patients. The promise of outsmarting cancer and disarming its defenses by ramping up our own innate immune systems — and in ways that can benefit large numbers of patients with various types of cancers — has never been more real.